Marc’s GChat Status Expanded

These Abbreviations Should Be Retired…Now

Like 98% of DC (no seriously, I’m pretty sure Police/Fire/EMT employees were the only people working in DC from December 5th through yesterday) I took a brief hiatus from blogging for the holidays. Christmas was great. Went to visit the girlfriend’s family. Spent some quality time in upstate New York. Managed to avoid the northeastern snowpocalypse. Laughed at DC weather men/women apologizing for costing the city millions because of incorrect weather models. Held a New Years Party. Conked out at 12:45 or 1:00 like a good host. Died on January 1st. Revived myself with a great brunch on January 2nd. Now, I am here.

OK!

Abbreviations can be broken down into three categories.

Practical Abbreviations: These abbreviations actually accomplish the goal of shortening a word that needs to be shortened. Examples include “cell” for “cellular” (side note: people over the age of 65 have refused to get on the “cell” bandwagon. Your grandmother will insist that you “call her cellular phone if you need her” more often than not) and “decaf” for “decaffeinated” (side note: I don’t think Starbucks would have gotten off the ground if not for this abbreviation). On a larger scale, we’re talking federal agencies (FBI), sports statistics (ERA), salutations (Mr, Dr.).

Internet Boom Abbreviations: These are abbreviations that grew from the boom in online dialogue. Phrases like, “lol” and “brb” and “omg.” As the internet grew, some of these abbreviations jumped off the computer screen and became commonly spoken abbreviations as well. Unfortunately over the past five years or so, 12-year old gamers, the Brits, and 35-year old internet trolls have murdered internet shorthand to the degree that future civilizations would not be able to decipher it.

Pop-culture abbreviations: Words or phrases that one would never think to abbreviate, until hearing said abbrev on a TV show, movie, spoken by your favorite celebrity. Some examples include “GTL” for “gym, tan, laundry” (made popular by the iconic Jersey Shore cast), “MILF” for “Mother I’d Like to Fuck” (made popular by American Pie, and an incredibly popular pornographic website that I’m pretty sure would get me banned from WordPress if linked to), FML for “Fuck My Life” (made popular by the website with the same name), and “totes magotes” for “totally magotes” (made popular by the film I Love You Man).

I can get behind almost all abbreviations in these three categories. However, there is an emerging fourth category of abbreviations that really need to be stopped.

I call these, “anti-abbreviations.”

Consider the definition of abbreviation:

a shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase, used to represent the whole,

The “anti-abbreviation” bastardizes this definition in one of the following ways:

1) The abbreviation is longer than the original word, or takes longer to say than the original word

Sometimes they have more syllables (ie: GSW for “gun shot wound,” h/t to my friend Keith). Sometimes, the amount of time it takes you to spit the abbreviation out is longer than the original.

For instance, the abbreviation of “cray cray” for “crazy.”

Try saying “cray cray” out loud.

Now say, “crazy crazy.”

Now, lets ignore the fact that using “cray cray” makes you sound at best like a toddler trying to learn how to speak and at worst a teenager tweeting death threats to Selena Gomez, when you said the two forms of crazy, tell me if you saved yourself anytime at all in using that abbreviation? I know I didn’t. So why does it exist? “Being cute” is not an adequate reason to abbreviate a word.

2) Completely and entirely unnecessary due to the length of the actual word

What is it about the two-syllable word, “crazy” that makes abbreviating it with a two-syllable abbreviation more convenient?

Anyone?……Bueller?

Nothing? Yes, that is correct. The answer is nothing. Another example of a word that often gets abbreviated is the word, “very.” Wanna know what it gets abbreviated to?

“v”

V?!

“Very” is so difficult to say and write that reducing it to the letter “v,” thus making it completely indistinguishable from a random keystroke or vocal twitch, is easier than writing it out or saying it aloud? V nice, v frustrated, v turned on. All uses of the word that I’ve seen before. All examples of times where it took me longer to figure out why they wrote or said “v” than it would have to process the common phrases of “very nice” “very frustrated” and “very turned on.”

You know what, fine. From now on, the following common words are going to be abbreviated by the first letter of the word; apple, bus, cat, dog, every, fine, good/great, hello, ignore, juice, knife, long, man, not, over, put/place, quit, really, short, time, under, very, wear, x……moving on, your, zebra.

So, next t y head to the store, I need y to pick up some uw and a l k, also the c and d need food.

Yup. This trend is making life easier for all of us.

3) Impossible to understand unless written in the right context

Coincidently, “v” for “very” also fits this category. The sports world has been doing this with sports injuries for quite some time. When sports announcers realized the .3 seconds (no really, it is .3 seconds, I timed it) it takes to say the word “injury” could be used to fawn over Brett Favre, they decided to just stop saying the word altogether. Now we get, “Wade is going to miss the rest of the game with an ankle,” or “Greg Oden is out for the season with the 7th knee of his career.”

It drives me crazy. Say the word injury! In any other context, not saying the word “injury” is a terrible abbreviation. If doctors didn’t say injury, patients would probably die.

Another annoying one, “perf” for “perfect.” Perfect does not need to be abbreviated. “Perf” could just as easily mean “prefer.” It is just way too difficult to understand unless it is put in the PERFECT context.

Another one, “ano.”

Wanna know what “ano” is an abbreviation of?

“Anorexic.” Yup, write ten sentences with anorexic abbreviated to “ano” and I’d probably correctly figure out what you were trying to say in three of them.

So, people of the world. I plead with you for common sense. This is not personal. There are abbreviations that I think are ridiculous that I left off this list because I can see their appeal to some people. Things like, “obvio” for “obviously” and “margs” for “margaritas”. HOWEVER, we all need to join together to prevent abbreviations from the aforementioned categories from becoming commonplace.

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January 4, 2011 - Posted by | Nonsense |

7 Comments »

  1. obvi that’s totes the sitch these days.

    no seriously. i agree.

    Comment by Miller | January 4, 2011

  2. Cray Cray makes me think someone wants to color.. with crayons.

    Sweet dude.

    Comment by Sgt.Tedro | January 4, 2011

  3. It kills me when announcers (most frequently Sportscenter anchors) refer to a touchdown as a touch, which is a distinct football term, besides just being a ridiculous abbreviation.

    Comment by Ross | January 4, 2011

  4. I’m pretty sure this entire blog post is actually a rant about how I speak. I am therefore righteously offended.

    On a side note, how do we feel about abbrevs that combine two words. Gaysian? Manorexic? Bieberiffic?

    Comment by Brittany | January 4, 2011

  5. Can we add another section on military/government alphabet soup that is near indecipherable unless you have 25+ years on Uncle Sam’s payroll?

    An example:

    Jim had the choice to DOR or be NPQ’d because he couldn’t TTO from an API due to him being SOL due to his hidden MCL problems in his MR. If he got caught in that lie, he’d surely get a PRB or NJP for OLQ.

    #headache

    Comment by Mack | January 4, 2011

  6. I would just like to point out that the T in GTL is actually tanNING. BTW.

    Comment by aj | January 4, 2011

  7. This post made me v turned on.

    Comment by Matt | January 5, 2011


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